24th September 2023 – (Melbourne) A Melbourne couple who received $10.5 million Australian dollars (US$6.7 million) by mistake from Crypto.com will be facing a plea trial in October after spending the funds. Thevamanogari Manivel and her partner Jatinder Singh are charged with theft for using the mistakenly transferred funds in 2021.
The incident occurred in May 2021 when Manivel transferred funds to Singh’s Crypto.com account. However, due to a mismatch between the bank account and the exchange account, a refund should have been issued for the intended amount of 100 AU$. Unfortunately, an error led to the accidental transfer of 10.5 million AU$ to Manivel’s bank account.
The mistake remained undetected until December 2021 when Crypto.com conducted its annual audit. Following the discovery, the exchange filed a lawsuit in the Victoria Supreme Court, seeking the return of the funds to the trading platform.
However, it was revealed that the couple had already spent a significant portion of the mistakenly received funds before the error was noticed. They reportedly purchased four houses, vehicles, and other items, and transferred around 4 million AU$ to a Malaysian bank account. As part of the court’s ruling, one of the houses, a five-bedroom property in Craigieburn valued at 1.35 million AU$, will be sold to recover the funds.
During the court proceedings in October 2022, the couple claimed that they believed they had won a prize from Crypto.com. Singh argued that he had received a notification from the company about a competition in the past. However, Crypto.com’s compliance officer, Michi Chan Fores, denied the existence of such a competition and stated that the exchange did not send such notifications to its users.
Recently, Manivel pleaded guilty to recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime in September 2023. She has been sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order, which includes six months of intensive compliance and unpaid community work. Manivel had already spent 209 days in custody. On the other hand, Singh’s plea trial is scheduled for 23rd October.